Monday, May 18, 2009

Saturday's Rest


Taking a day of rest on Saturday is a mixed blessing. It feels great, but I really have to battle my own desires to get out there and do all sorts of stuff. LOL

I let Michael sleep in til he woke up, which was 10:00 in the morning. He didn't like that, but he really needed it. He was really tired.

Then we had to go out and take care of the bugs that were raiding our garden and threatening to rob us of our work and food. I hate that we are leaving organic, but at this point, the larger goal is to be able to actually allow the garden to survive.

So Michael assembled the sprayer we'd purchased the night before.


And we pulled out the heavy artillery. AUGH! I can't believe I'm doing this! Not having steady income changes things.


And we unloaded the latest grass clippings into the compost bins. These bags heated up the interior of the van by 20 degrees warmer overnight.


Here are the latest boards for the potato bins. (They are still in the van, eh-hem.)


And we just relaxed a lot. We enjoyed a crock pot full of sausage and bean soup all day, with sourdough bread toast to go with it. We even watched a movie, the original Star Wars from 1976.

I still remember going to the theater and seeing that movie when I was in Jr. High. It was the first time I'd ever experienced standing in line to get a good seat, because it would be sold out. But we met friends there a couple of hours early. It was a big deal for us, as we lived rather simply in the country, so it made quite an impression.

In the evening we strolled around outside, me taking photos, Michael playing, and I took note of what needed to be done, what was going well, what was not.

The horses have just about lost all their winter coats.



The 15 melon hills we planted 3 weeks ago have been a big disappointment. Each hill got between 4 and 6 seeds each, so out of about 60 seeds... about 4 sprouted. We finally dug them up, I think it was Friday morning, and found the hulls - empty. I have no idea. No sign of bugs or critters, just looking like partially opened clam shells, completely empty. I am hoping this odd development is due to something simple like we just had a cooler spring than normal. But I cannot figure out why they are empty!


The pasty summer squash beds are perking up. It took about a week for the organic fish fertilizer, which only has a nitrogen rating of 5, to kick in and get them turning greener and growing. I guess even though this soil had turf composted in over the winter and a good bit of horse manure laying on the pasture, it still has not enough nitrogen. I'm really looking forward to planting green manures after the garden is done this autumn.


The brassicas are SUPREMELY happy here. They are doing well. I've only lost about 6 of them all together, to a vole I believe, so the harvest should be pretty good.


The eggplants... a wash. The seedlings all gone to flea beetles, the one large plant I bought, it's struggling a lot. I had tried an experiment as a last organic resort to save them, I made an oil spray with cayenne and garlic. It coated those beetles that got caught in it and I'm sure those died, but the plant is struggling from the oil, and the beetles who escaped hopped away to munch on my tomatoes.

Artichokes - a little slow in growth, but with fertilizer they should pick up. That will be today. No bug damage.

Peppers - again flea beetles. Some are doing better than others. We got them with fertilizer already so they should do better.

Tomatoes, seem to be pretty happy, but flea beetles going after them with almost all the energy they had for the eggplants. We fertilized them to give them a boost.

Sugar snap peas - doing great.


Giant pumpkins - they've sprouted about 4 I think.

My corn is giving me a pain. Again, we're waiting for our corn crop to be 4-6 inches high so we can plant beans. The Golden Bantam OP corn does fine,


but we only planted enough of that to have our own seed for reuse. The bulk is hybrid corn, Sensation, and the sprout rate on that is just sad!


Here is a close up comparison:


More rocks being hauled out, small goes to chicken fence, large set aside for landscaping:


This is the biggest rock we have to haul for the herb bed. Will probably have to split it somehow. I'm hoping it will break with a sledgehammer. That's my watch, set on the top of it to the right.


Some of what's left of the wild blackberries we have to continually mow down. This is an old attempt at a pond by the previous owners of the land. There are two of these on the place. Just a big hole, filled in with trees and bushes.


This may be a great wild blackberry year, if the rain keeps up.


This is a cool tunnel. It's cool temperature wise as well, when picking berries and eating them. You can hide from the gnats in here.


A pretty cardinal on the fence post.


Isn't Michael doing a great job clearing these back hills? Looks wonderful! That was his own idea, I'd not even have suggested it. I think he overheard me lamenting about them, and just decided to take care of the problem.


I love little surprise flowers. Especially since I have none planted of my own yet.


More blackberries. Michael hit more rocks mowing back here than we expected. We'll have to pick them up from here as well.


This needs to be sprayed to clear the overgrowth from covering the rocks, and the loose ones need to be picked up.


Mower blade killers....


And that's where strolling ended and work began. The filly came by and showed me some very naughty disrespect. I had no choice but to deal with her, in over-sized flip-flops and the dress I was wearing, and carrying my camera. I ran her, for a long time, until she changed her attitude and came to me, sides heaving, sweat pouring down, and hanging her head.

Then it was dark and we replanted the melon hills with no flashlights, in the rain. LOL

It was good to get in, have a bath and dinner, and go to bed!




  1. good girl I am glad you showed miss filly who is boss. Are they not hard headed??? I have had friends tell me geldings are the only way to go.

    Well the rocks are a mixed blessing and curse. I sure wish I had some but the way I hit things with my mower, I would need to keep a new mower deck on the shelf all the time.

    Michael way to go. That hill is beautiful!!!!

  2. I've had four mares and three geldings. Two of the geldings were cut late and still had everything but the actual ammo.

    When they are done young, I'll take a gelding every time. When they are done late, you still have to deal with the gelding who has no idea anything is any different. And it can take years for the hormones (or maybe just memories to subside).

    Our last gelding regularly mated with one of the mares here. They were very... happy together, no babies though. That's when I had to run electric wire over the top of EVERYTHING.

    He was a good boy, and if he'd been done early, he'd have been much easier to work with.

    I know - those blades cost 80 dollars every time!!! I am not looking forward to having to get new, so we are trying to be really careful. Spending lots of time looking for rocks these days. :)



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